July 11, 2012 | 2:55 p.m.
What’s the most effective way to depict a teenage superhero swinging through the urban canyons of New York City, trudging through subterranean tunnels and battling a 9-foot humanoid reptile? Such were the questions faced by “The Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb and the visual effects artists at Sony Imageworks. For many key scenes, the answer was to create and animate fully digital environments and actors, which allowed for a great deal of creative freedom but presented their own artistic and practical challenges. We caught up with digital effects supervisor Dave Smith to talk about his team’s vision for Spidey’s return to the big screen. The exclusive video below (narrated by David Schaub, supervisor of additional animation) demonstrates how digital effects were used to bring some of Spider-Man’s classic comic-book poses to life and to re-create New York streetscapes in painstaking detail. HC: […]
July 11, 2012 | 7:17 a.m.
Who are the 50 greatest science fiction characters in television history? We answer that question with the latest edition of Hero Complex: The Magazine, which will be distributed for free at the doorstep of Comic-Con International this week in San Diego. We’ve printed up 100,000 copies of the glossy magazine for fans headed to the world-famous pop culture expo – but if you’re not headed to the San Diego Convention Center you can also pick up a copy at six comic book stores: Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles; the Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks and Northridge; and any of the three Midtown Comics in New York City. The choice we made for our cover portrait is completely logical: Mr. Spock of the USS Enterprise as portrayed by Leonard Nimoy on “Star Trek” in the 1960s. How many other Starfleet […]
July 10, 2012 | 7:03 a.m.
Flash Thompson is an angry young man in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” but there’s a pained self-awareness in his eyes that makes the character more than a two-dimensional goon. The part is played by 27-year-old Chris Zylka, who made his screen debut four years ago in an episode of “90210,” and he’s been busy ever since in the tween/family television universe (“10 Things I Hate About You,” “Hannah Montana,” “Zeke & Luther,” “Teen Spirit”) and trying to get blood stains off his beachwear (“Shark Night 3D,” “Piranha 3DD”). We caught the Ohio native to talk about school spirit and a famous wall-crawler. HC: Flash Thompson has been around since the early days of the Spider-Man comics, but through the years there’s been so many versions and shadings to the character. How would you describe the Flash you found in this script? CZ: He’s a […]
July 08, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.
These are days of silver and gold for Spider-Man. This week he returned to the silver screen in director Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and next month he celebrates his golden anniversary — it will be 50 years since “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 introduced a character who would become the gold-standard creation of the silver age. The new film takes its title from a slab of Marvel bedrock: “The Amazing Spider-Man” was the name of the series that began in 1963 with No. 1 and is now closing in on issue No. 700. But what was the deal with “Amazing Fantasy”? How did the 15th and final issue of a series with something of tin-bucket heritage end up with a holy grail character that would revolutionize comics and define the Marvel brand of melodrama? It’s an elusive question, in a way, […]
July 08, 2012 | 10:37 a.m.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” is off to a strong start, and director Marc Webb’s film has escaped the clutches of its biggest foe — the crowded summer schedule. Trapped between “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” the Sony reboot was in real danger of becoming the friendly neighborhood afterthought. Our readers got to see “Amazing Spider-Man” early thanks to the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series. In the Q&A portion of the evening, Webb spoke about the chemistry between his lead actors, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and said that “casting them was the single most important” thing. Take a look at the video above to learn more about the casting of Garfield, the differing style of the two young stars and the director’s funny line about the off-screen romance between the two actors. “We did a lot of work in […]
July 01, 2012 | 6:14 p.m.
HERO COMPLEX IMAX SCREENING SERIES This vivid and vertiginous Mondo poster features the art of Laurent Durieux and you’ll get one if you spend the first two hours of Tuesday morning watching “The Amazing Spider-Man” on an Imax screen. Mondo, the pride of Austin, Texas, has been delivering some memorable images since Imax turned to them to create a keepsake for the loyal stay-up-late crowd. The poster will also be handed to all 350 Hero Complex readers who attend tonight’s free Imax screening of Sony’s latest wall-crawler adventure. We know how much fans love the posters, too; we also gave out a cosmically collectible Mondo/Imax poster at our early “John Carter” screening and a limited-edition Marvel/Imax poster for “The Avengers.” Director Marc Webb is tonight’s special onstage guest for a Q&A after the screening of “Amazing Spider-Man,” which stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Sally Field, Martin Sheen […]
June 29, 2012 | 8:24 a.m.
Spider-Man does whatever a spider can — wall-crawling, for instance, and web-slinging — but the character is just as famous for making bad jokes while saving the city. For the just-released “The Amazing Spider-Man” video game, the task of creating Spidey’s quip-slinging fell to the game’s lead writer, Kevin Seamus Fahey, a 36-year-old television screenwriter whose credits include “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Forgotten,” and “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.” We spoke with Fahey about the challenges of keeping up with Peter Parker’s quick wit. HC: How does writing for a game differ from a TV show or a comic book? KSF: When you’re writing a comic, there’s more solitude. TV is by committee. You’re in a room with half a dozen people, staring at each other for eight or 10 hours a day. With games, you’re also working in groups. But instead of a […]
June 28, 2012 | 2:28 p.m.
Not many actors from a summer superhero movie would cite Shakespeare to justify their film’s existence. Then again, not many actors are “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” Rhys Ifans, an unlikely person to grace a big-budget action extravaganza. A classically trained theater performer who dropped off the Hollywood map for more than a decade, the Welsh actor, 43, presents an odd blend of thoughtful eloquence, rock ‘n’ roll swagger and career ambivalence — not to mention a certain, er, high-mindedness about the work he’s doing. “There are these enduring, socially mirroring qualities that Spider-Man has that begs us to revisit him,” Ifans said when asked over breakfast why he thought the time was right for a new Spider-Man movie. “He’s in a sense a spokesman for every generation. And like all great albums, or movies, or pieces of literature, we revisit them. […]
June 27, 2012 | 7:14 a.m.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” arrives July 3 with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, a character that moviegoers barely know. Gwen was also in “Spider-Man 3″ (the role then belonged to Bryce Dallas Howard, later Stone’s co-star in “The Help”) but her screen time was limited. In the world of comics, however, Gwen is a major figure and connected to a traumatic milestone: It was “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 121, a bombshell issue that landed 39 years ago this month. Avi Arad, coproducer of the new film and a pivotal figure in Marvel’s Hollywood history, talks about that 1973 flashpoint in the final answer of the Q&A below — but if you’re unfamiliar with the classic story you might want to leave that secret on the shelf for now. HC: Spider-Man brought so many unprecedented things to comics — the sense of ongoing melodrama, the […]
June 23, 2012 | 10:53 a.m.
Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” swings into theaters everywhere on July 3 but 350 of our readers are going to see the movie early, for free and in Hollywood’s most heroic format thanks to the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series. “Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb will be the special onstage guest for the Q&A that follows the 7:30 p.m. screening on July 1 at Rave Cinemas, at 6081 Center Drive in Los Angeles. Tickets for the event will be available at our RSVP SITE, which goes live at 10 a.m. (PDT) on Tuesday. “Amazing Spider-Man” opens a new era in the Hollywood history of the most famous Marvel Comics creation. Webb, who made his feature-film directorial debut with “(500) Days of Summer” in 2009, brings a different energy to the franchise as well — along with new stars in Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Webb says […]